Over the past half decade BMW has been splicing its ever-growing model lineup into smaller more personalized segments, none Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press more fractionalized than its 5 and…

2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe Road Test Review

Over the past half decade BMW has been splicing its ever-growing model lineup into smaller more personalized segments, none more fractionalized than its 5 and 6 Series lines that now include the 6 Series Gran Coupe, a car that divides traditional 5 Series sport sedan buyers from those who might normally opt for a performance-luxury two-door like the 6 Series Coupe. The 6 Series Gran Coupe is finding its own niche buyers, as is the niche within a niche M6 Gran Coupe.

Yes, just like the Bayerische bunch has done numerous times before, BMW's new four-door coupe has been given the full M treatment, and just like the M5 sedan and M6 Coupe and Convertible models, the M6 Gran Coupe gets the brand's all-new direct injection TwinPower Turbo-infused 4.4-litre V8 that's good for a staggering 560-horsepower at 5,750 to 7,000 rpm before redlining at 7,200, and an outrageously tractable 500 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,500 rpm.

The full-throttle feeling off the line is shocking, Read Full Story
Remember the Scirocco? In the mid-’70s and early ’80s it was Volkswagen’s sportiest offering around the globe, even here in 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco R (Photo: VW) North America. It was…

Volkswagen updates Scirocco for 2015

Remember the Scirocco? In the mid-'70s and early '80s it was Volkswagen's sportiest offering around the globe, even here in North America. It was so successful that it caused a lot of imitators to follow suit, from the Honda Accord Coupe and later the Prelude, to the Isuzu Impulse and the list goes on and on. So, now that the Scirocco has been back on European roads since 2008, why hasn't it made it across the Atlantic to North American markets?

That's a question Volkswagen's officials can't even seem to answer, at least not convincingly. The two-door sports coupe is nevertheless one of the darlings of Volkswagen's overseas lineup, and for 2015 it will get a full redo so that it doesn't lose its savour with its many faithful fans. The revised Scirocco will soon debut at the upcoming Geneva auto show, with the biggest news hiding under the hood.

Six direct injection engines will be available, including four gasoline-powered mills and two turbo-diesels. Performance will Read Full Story
For those who like to take things literally, one of the "big" Canadian debuts at Toronto’s Canadian International Auto Show was the full-size Kia K900 luxury sedan. The South Korean automaker…

Kia introduces K900 luxury sedan to Canadians

For those who like to take things literally, one of the "big" Canadian debuts at Toronto's Canadian International Auto Show was the full-size Kia K900 luxury sedan.

The South Korean automaker evidently believes the North American market is ready for a Kia-branded rear-wheel drive luxury car, and is introducing the new model on our shores mere months after launching it in the domestic market, although Kia's marketing team inexplicably changed the car's name for the North American market - it's called the K9 back home in Korea (maybe they thought luxury cars and police dogs didn't mix well).

Based on the same BH-L (VI) platform as the Hyundai Equus and Genesis sedan, the K900 is slated to go on sale in Canada later this year as a 2015 model, and will carry a suggested retail price of $49,995 in base V6 trim.

The 3.8-litre V6 produces 311 horsepower and is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V6 features a three-step Variable Intake System (VIS) Read Full Story
It’s no secret that McLaren Automotive has been working on a new model. Now, with less than a month to go before the latest   supercar’s debut at the International Geneva Motor Show,…

New McLaren 650S debuts ahead of Geneva show

It's no secret that McLaren Automotive has been working on a new model. Now, with less than a month to go before the latest supercar's debut at the International Geneva Motor Show, the boutique British automaker has released a selection of images of the car, together with a smattering of technical information.

The new model will be called the McLaren 650S, and will slot between the 12C and the more expensive (and now sold out) P1.

Developed under the project name "P12", the 650S will be available as either a fixed-roof coupe or as a Spider with a retractable hardtop. Power comes from a 650-horsepower version of McLaren's M838T twin-turbo V8 engine (the model name reflects the horsepower rating, with the "S" standing for "sport").

As with other McLaren road cars, the 650S is built around a carbon fibre tub chassis, with bodywork designed for both dramatic appeal and aerodynamic performance.

The styling is inspired by the McLaren P1, and previews a new Read Full Story
If you thought you’d figured out BMW’s new naming system, think again. Within months of introducing the new 2 Series lineup,   which initially appeared to follow the trend of giving coupes…

BMW reveals new front-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer

If you thought you'd figured out BMW's new naming system, think again. Within months of introducing the new 2 Series lineup, which initially appeared to follow the trend of giving coupes and coupe derivatives even-numbered series names (6 Series, 4 Series, and 2 Series), and giving sedans, wagons and traditional crossovers odd-numbered series names (7 Series, 5 Series, 3 Series, and 1 Series), the new 2 Series Active Tourer changes everything.

Indeed, with its five-door hatchback bodywork, three- or four-cylinder turbocharged engines, and - get this - front-wheel drive layout, the newest member of the 2 Series family overturns not just everything the German automaker had previously appeared to establish about its nomenclature, but perhaps everything it had established about it's entire brand strategy.

As BMW clearly states in its press release, "The arrival of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer … sees BMW expand its portfolio into another new model segment." It's a Read Full Story
Toronto’s 2014 Canadian International Auto Show got off to a roaring start for Mazda, with the Automobile Journalists Association Kory Koreeda, president of Mazda Canada with the 2014 Mazda6. (Photo:…

Mazda6 chosen as AJAC Car of the Year

Toronto's 2014 Canadian International Auto Show got off to a roaring start for Mazda, with the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announcing the Mazda6 as the winner of the Canadian Car of the Year award for 2014, and the Mazda3 as the third-place finalist.

The Mazda6 had already handily won its category (Best New Family Car over $30,000) at AJAC's TestFest in October, alongside its stable mates the Mazda3 and Mazda3 Sport, which came out on top in their respective categories. The Mazda3 and Mazda6 were both nominated as finalists for the Car of the Year award, together with the Corvette Stingray (which came in second), Infiniti Q50 Hybrid, Kia Soul, Lexus IS 350 RWD, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

In accepting the prize, Kory Koreeda, president of Mazda Canada, said, "This impressive achievement confirms what we already knew - the 2014 Mazda6 is nothing short of a game changer, once again raising the bar and outclassing other cars in its segment."

Read Full Story
Just Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press how good can a compact crossover get? Drive a new Ford Escape and you’ll know. For me, the Escape encapsulates everything I want in a small CUV. I…

2014 Ford Escape SE 4WD Road Test Review

Just how good can a compact crossover get? Drive a new Ford Escape and you'll know.

For me, the Escape encapsulates everything I want in a small CUV. I could drive this car all day and never get tired, and never get bored. What makes it so good? The Escape delivers an ideal combination of comfort and sport, and packages it all up in a totally utile family hauler that's way larger on the inside that its lean lines make it look from the outside.

Yes, it's a sharp looking little ute, but as attractive as its exterior sheet metal and stylish detailing is, the Escape really shines inside. The look is balanced form and function with a leaning toward modernism, my tester mostly dark grey inside with nice matte and bright metal detailing and zero woodgrain. Unlike some of its peers, the Escape boasts soft-touch dash plastics and soft-touch front door uppers, whereas the rest of the plastic surfaces are harder yet high in quality and nicely textured. Small things, like the power Read Full Story
Why Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press do so many people buy the Camry? Plain and simply because it’s a very good car. This reality once again became apparent as I settled in behind the…

2014 Toyota Camry XLE Road Test Review

Why do so many people buy the Camry? Plain and simply because it's a very good car.

This reality once again became apparent as I settled in behind the wheel of a 2014 Toyota Camry in top-line XLE trim, a car that hasn't changed one iota from last year (and not much since this version was introduced in 2011 as a 2012 model) but nevertheless competes directly with entirely new models from other carmakers and no doubt will once again win on the sales front. In North America, more people buy Camrys than any other car, a title the Japanese brand has held for 11 years straight.

My XLE tester was more luxuriously appointed as any Camry before, with attractive tri-tone leather upholstered seats, a nice, thick leather-wrapped steering wheel, a nicely featured centre stack with fully-sorted infotainment including navigation and a rearview monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way driver and four-way passenger power-adjustable heated front seats, proximity sensing Read Full Story